What do underarm lymph nodes do? Why do they swell up? And how do you know if the swelling is simply an infection – or might be cancer?
You're taking a shower, soaping up. And suddenly, underneath your arm, your fingers detect a painful, tender lump – one that wasn't there yesterday. Your mind starts to race: "Do I need to worry about this? Could it be an infected lymph node, even though I haven't felt sick? Could it be… cancer?"
What is the lymphatic system?
Your body's lymphatic system, made up of a series of small vessels, carries a clear liquid – lymph – from your body tissues to the heart. In the heart, lymph joins blood and is pumped via arteries back to the tissues. This efficient system helps drain excess liquid from tissues, and transports infection-fighting white blood cells to where they're needed.
What are lymph nodes?
Scattered along these small lymphatic vessels are up to 700 lymph nodes. These small (think...
In early June, and for weeks since, news outlets have been writing about a study showing that responsibly drinking five or more servings of wine or other alcohol a week cuts the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis by up to 50% . Those who drank 1-4 drinks per week cut their risk by about 20%. The researchers believe this is because alcohol is a mild anti-inflammatory. The study was performed by researchers at the Institute of Environmental Medicine at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden and was published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.
The data consisted of two studies in Sweden and Denmark and included 2,750 men and women, 1,650 of whom had rheumatoid arthritis. The researchers found that those who drank regularly, meaning more than three drinks per week, were less likely to develop RA. The effect appeared to be greater for smokers with genetic risk factors for developin...
Urinary incontinence can be defined as the involuntary loss of urine. The urinary bladder, which stores urine until the patient voluntary empties its content, is a reservoir in the lower abdomen whose walls are a muscle that is supplied with nerve fibers. When the patient desires to empty their bladder, this muscle contracts forcing the urine out of the exit tube. There is a circular muscle surrounding its exit tube called the urinary sphincter. The muscular sphincter opens to allow for emptying of the urine, remaining closed most of the time to keep the urine stored in the bladder. Urinary incontinence is a common problem, perhaps more common in women than men, and may be temporary or chronic. Temporary urinary incontinence is loss of urine caused by another condition and disappears when the causative disease is no longer present. Examples of temporary incontinence would be acute bladder infection, loss of consciousness, or because of a reaction to a medication. Long-standing or ...
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